After more than twenty-five years we went back to London

We decided to visit what we had not seen in the past and to do pleasant walks in the city center.
We chose to stay at the IBIS hotel because we appreciate its quality/price ratio.
In London we stayed at the IBIS close to the Euston subway station.

Somerset House and Art collection of the Courtauld Institute of Art

The first day, early in the morning, we went to the Somerset House, a building with a beautiful and big inner courtyard recently embellished with a modern fountain and where, at the entrance, there is an allegorical monument.

Pablo Picasso's Work

Pablo Picasso's Work

Courtauld Institute – London

I illustrate the art collection of the Courtauld Institute of Art. I wish to mention some of the most significant painters: Monet, Gauguin, Modigliani, Picasso, Utrillo to Kandinsky.

Paul Gauguin's Work

Paul Gauguin's Work

Courtauld Institute – London

Some rooms of the picture-gallery are reserved to an exhibition of works that Toulouse Lautrec dedicated to the dancer Jane Avril, his favorite model.

Toulouse Lautrec's Work

Toulouse Lautrec's Work

Courtauld Institute – London

Cleopatra’s Needle, Hungerford bridge, Charing Cross station and Waterloo Bridge

Cleopatra's Needle

Cleopatra's Needle

London

Just outside the Institute, there is the pretty little church of St. Mary-le-Strand positioned in a pedestrian zone, in the middle of the road.
We continued towards the river Thames and reached the Cleopatra’s Needle, an Egyptian obelisk with two sphinxes at its sides.
We passed the river Thames crossing the pedestrian Hungerford bridge situated in front of Charing Cross Station.
We were not even at half way that we admired another bridge, Waterloo Bridge, beyond which we could see both St. Paul Cathedral and the skyscrapers of the City; among them it stood the Nat West Tower, known as the Gherkin (the Cucumber).

British Air London Eye

Ferries Wheel

Ferries Wheel

London

A big news for us was the British Airways London Eye, the giant (135 meters high) Ferries wheel built to celebrate the new millennium.

Laurence Oliver monument, Blackfriars bridge, Tate Modern and Cannon Street Bridge

We began the Queen’s Walk, a pedestrian path along the Thames.
We could admire the Queen’s Hall, the Royal Festival Hall, the monument to Laurence Oliver and the Blackfriars bridge (famous because there it was found Roberto Calvi’s body).
Following the Thames, we arrived to Gabriel’s Wharf Market, a square faced by many characteristic shops, an exhibition of wooden works and quaint houses whose walls were painted with faux illusionistic façades.
Continuing our walk along the river, now called the Riverside Walk, we arrived in the Bankside area. There, a building which was a former power station was transformed into a new building: the Tate Modern Gallery. The museum opened in 2000 and gathers six detached sections.
Opposite, there is another new monument: the steel pedestrian bridge, also built in 2000, which gave me the possibility to take nice shots.
Some more nice shots were taken southwards showing the Cannon Street Bridge, a railway bridge which looks “younger” than its age (1860) and is characterized by vivid colours; beyond it, the London Bridge appears in its majesty.
Gabriel’s Wharf Market

Gabriel’s Wharf Market

London

Globe Theater where William Shakespeare’s company performed

Not far, there is the white circular building of the Globe theatre where the company of William Shakespeare used to perform. The theatre had a very rough life: it was built in 1600, was destroyed by a fire, was rebuilt and, then, was closed and definitively demolished 44 years after its primary construction.

Shakespeare Theater

Shakespeare Theater

London

Anchor Pub, Golden Hinde Galleon of Sir Francis Drake, Southwark cathedral and Borough Market

Other nice glimpse is that of the Anchor Pub, one of the oldest and most famous pub along the river.
A little further on, in a narrow angle, the copy of the Golden Hind galleon used by Sir Francis Drake to circumnavigate the globe.
Southwark Cathedral dates back to the twelfth century and had been recently restored. It is the most important monument of Southwark district of London.
In that district we found other remarkable peculiarities such as the George Inn, a characteristic inn of the seventeenth century which nowadays is a pub. Another recent transformation regarded the Borough Market which changed by wholesale market of fruits and vegetables to retail market even specialized in international food. Finally, a memorial plaque on the site of the original Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.

Anchor Pub

Anchor Pub

London

Piccadilly Circus, Coventry Street, Trocadero and Leicester Square

At the end of our first full day in London, we had the pleasure of one more promenade. We went to Piccadilly Circus with its famous monument of Eros and its characteristic and countless bright signs. Similar signs are present also in the near Coventry Street where there is one of the “cult” place in London, the Trocadero. We concluded our walk in Leicester Square where important works in the course of construction prevented us from admiring the square in all its beauty.

Piccadilly Circus

Piccadilly Circus

London

Wellington Arch, Apsley House and Wellington’s caricatures

The second day began with a typical autumnal weather and rain. I took a shot of the Wellington Arch and its Quadriga led by the angel of Peace while fighting with my umbrella. We found shelter inside the Apsley House where Wellington decided to place, among many other relics, a large marble statue of his great enemy at the foot of a staircase almost as a sign of submission. Napoleon was immortalized by Antonio Canova.

Wellington Arch

Wellington Arch

London

Soane’s Museum

Then we moved to a completely different part of London in order to visit the Soane’s Museum. This museum has a peculiarity: in a very small space, thanks to special devices, Soane collected and exhibited an extraordinary number of works of art. The picture-gallery is the most striking room because in a very small space you can see a large number of paintings gathered in large panels which you can extract.